tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN February 24, 2013 12:00am-1:00am EST
tragic. last summer, this was him, the first today, a totally different scene. >> yesterday, he should be put to the sword. >> a flood of confusing details. >> the neighbors did hear gun shots. >> he thought she was a burglar. >> on valentine's day, oscar shot and killed his girlfrerngsd leaving a family without their daughter, and a nation without its hero. >> welcome to this special hour of ac 360. blade runner, murder or mistake?
riveting by every detail of that killing. they were four days, three of those four days, it will impossible to turn away. in this hour, we will walk you through those days, what lies ahead. the evidence and lay out the case with our legal and forensic experts. first, a look at how we got there. including the rare legal decision to introduce an account in oscar's own words. >> it was individual. something awful was about to happen inside the home of the track star. by 4: 15 a&m, the lead investigator would arrive to find his girlfriend dead.
killed by three gunshots that he had fired. was it murder? or a terrible mistake? we make never know the real story, but he wants us to know his story, detailed in this rare affidavit he gave the court. hours before the fatal shooting, it was a normal evening at home for him and his girlfriend. a quiet dinner, tv in bed for him, and yoga for her. it seemed perfect. we were deeply in love, and i could not be happier. i know she felt the same way, she gave me a gift, asked me to open it the next day. according to the affidavit, they fell asleempt hours later, he jolted awake. his valentine celebration was
about to take a deadly turn. i woke up to went on the balcony. i heard a noise in the bathroom, realized someone was in the bathroom. i felt a sense of terror there. are no burglar bars across the bathroom window, and i knew the contractors who worked at my house, left the ladder outside. although, i didn't have my legs on, i have mobility on my stumps. he screamed at the intruders to get out. he told the court, and made his way to the pitch dark to the bathroom. i realized the intruder was in the toil let. i heard movement inside the toilet.
then, i fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to her to phone the police. to me, the instinctive thing, you hear sounds in the bathroom, say, honey did you hear that? you do that first, to fire shots. honey did you hear that? you stay here. i will go see what is going on. you stay here. i will go check. none of that happened. instead, he claimed he jumped out of bed, got his gun and fired into the toilet. when the shooting stops, he said, i moved backwards out of the bathroom, keeping my eyes on the bathroom entrance, everything was pitch dark. i was still too scared to switch on the line. she was not responding. he made his way to the bed. when i reached the bed, i realized that reeva was not in
bed. that is when it dawnod me that it could have been reeva who was in the toilet. i returned to the bathroom. i tried to open the door, it was locked. i rushed back, opening the sliding door, and screamed for help. other witnesses share a different version of events. one says, he heard nonstop fighting between 2:00 and 3:00 a&m and an investigator heard gunshots, a woman screaming, then more gunshots. by the time it was over, reeva was fatally wounded. she had been struck in the hip, elbow and in the head. next, pis toruous put on his prosthetic legs and ran back to the bathroom. he used his cricket bag.
there, he found reeva slumped over, but alive. he frantically made calls for help. to the estate supervisor, all before picking up reeva's bloody body. i pulled her into the bathroom. then he writes, he phoned for help and unlocked the front door. according to the affidavit, i carried her downstairs, i tried to render the assistance to reeva that i could, but she died in my arms. it was over, and oscar pist
pistorius. >> he is grieving, i don't expect him to get over it. even soon. prosecutors say this was no mistake. that tell a tale of premeditated murder. a boyfriend, fueled by rage after a long night of arguing. a woman, vulnerable. taking aim at the toilet, where reeva was, and firing. >> the defense is not going to dispute that he shot through the door and the angle was what it was. it showed it was downward, to the left. which the prosecution indicated is significant it. looks as though it was aiming at someone on the toilet, than someone hiding in the bathroom itself. still so many unanswered questions. such as, how did reeva enter the bathroom unnoticed?
the defense lawyer said she slipped into the bathroom was he first got up to close the door. and why would reeva lock the door? was she trying to protect herself from pistorius or an intruder what. about the two bloody cellphones found inside the bathroom? so much evidence to unravel. and an investigation far from over. that may have been from the start. the they say they found a bullet that police misd. and they entered the home without wearing protective foot covers simply because they had run out of them. by the time the investigators
got there, the lawyer and the brother were there. that scene was heavily contaminated before the investigators could secure the scene itself. one of the things taking a look at what most investigators do, what is the residue? what kind of hairs or fibers are there, was any type of evidence disturbed? it will complicate their investigate in a fairly large way. an investigation that has been complicate complicated in granting bail, $112,000, by the way, the judge took care two hours to explain his decision.
he barred cameras from the court, we only have audio, as he laid out points of the law and raised questions including this. i have difficulty in appreciating why the accused did not ascertain the whereabouts of his girlfriend when he got off the bed. vidifficulty why the dekeysed would not have screamed back from the toilet. i have difficulty also with understanding why the deceased and the accused would not of like mind in those circumstances, escaped through the bedroom door, then venteur into the toilet. the judge didn't consider those questions reason enough to deny bail f this case does go to trial, they will certainly come up again. i talked about with robin who has been covering the case from the beginning. >> such a dramatic bail hearing.
what was it like? >> klaas trofobbic, i believe is the word. it was a small courtroom. far too small for this kind of case. it was very hot. we found wiping away sweat. and tension that kept building up, what magistrate made that final judgment. during the course of the case so far, we have seen many faces of oscar pistorius. what was he like? >> a sense that oscar has withdrawn into himself, whether this is a combination of shock, exhaustion, a mental state that is not entirely healthy at the moment. he is coming to terms with the fact that he did something
absolutely terrible. >> a lot of attention paid to this case. you see the cameras in the courtroom. the media chased the car carrying pistorius as it left the court house, is that right? >> such a media interest in this. the chasing, disturbing, it looked like there was motorcycle riders following him to the house where he will limpt there was a sense of a pack hunting him had. whether it is right or not this. is a man who admitted to murdering his girlfriend on valentine's day, there is a huge media interest. >> what is next for him? he can't go home. he went back to his uncle's house after the bail hearing. what happens now? >> in terms of what is n he has to prepare for a monumental life-changing trial. he has a smart team around him. this is literally going to be a
day job. whether he starts training again that is another question. let's not forget reeva, the dram athe caas, the twists and turns, bomb shells, sitting quietly in a small seaside town is a family broken as well. >> thank you very much. ahead, answering to the questions everyone is asking. was bail justified? does the defendant's account make any sense? what happens at trial? will it make it there? the best experts around to debate the case, next. the promising life cut short. remembering reeva. ink?
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the only person who knows so much what happened is the accused. when we're dealing with circumstantial evidence pieces of puzzle need to be put together. by the time the state is ready or trial ready have more pieces of the puzzle. >> a lot to talk about starting with the drama around this bail hearing. joining by, mark geragos. author of "mistry. "and lawrence kobolinski, and kelly phelps. >> the state has an uphill climb, trying to show that he was a flight risk. are you surprised that bail was
granted? >> the burden that pistorius had to meet was a tough burden. the judge, who did an extremely thorough job, focused a lot on the issue of was there really a risk of flight? and it was very hard for the prosecution to argue seriously that oscar pistorius was going to flee, without a passport, being a celebrity, having a conspicuous disability, the idea that he was going to flea was implausible. that was the key to him getting bail. >> and mark, this may be the one thing you agree. you had predicted. this you also said he would be granted bail? >> right. i thought the magistrate telegraphed it early on in this hearing. i think the big problem for the prosecution is they overplayed their hand. if they had gone in and handled this differently, they might have been able to get this magistrate not to get him bail. but i just think they misplayed this entire hearing. number one, so overstating the
flight risk and coming in with this idea that somehow he's got a house here, accounts there. and when then when he's cross-examined on that. well, where's your evidence of the house. he said i don't know, i heard it somewhere. that won't go over well with the average magistrate. he may be one of the fastest humans in the world, but he's never going to escape the tabloid media on this case. >> kelly, you're an expert in south african law. did anything surprise you? the magistrate really took a long, circuitous route before announcing his ruling. all waiting there with baited breath. is that par for the course? >> certainly not for bail proceedings. it was an exceptionally long decision he rendered. it didn't surprise me. i think he knew how much was at stake.
he was really considering what kind of measured decision he had made and how he reached his decision. i think his decision is the correct decision. and defensible. >> and the bail itself, $120,000 says low certainly in terms of the american system. what do you make of that? >> a million rand is a fortune for many south africans. it's certainly not an unreasonable amount from a local perspective. >> the lead detective was taken to task on how he collected evidence. that detective was removed from the case. how big a setback do you think that is for the prosecution? how much will this case depend on forensics. >> this case will be resolved by forensic evidence. we will be able to tell whether
the evidence is consistent with the affidavit of mr. pistorius or not. that will talk to his credibility. i think the crime scene work is very crucial, because you have to start off with pristine evidence to analyze it and secure the information that you're looking for. and the fact of the matter is people are supposed to wear booties on their shoes to protect the scene from contamination. >> they said they simply ran out of them. >> not only didn't, but the removal of the guy who was first on the scene, the lead detective, he's out of there now. the defense is going to have the people that they brought in able to testify. they're the ones who discovered the shell in the toilet area. that was not picked up. they're the ones who are going to look like we did this right. the other guys are a bunch of bumbling idiots. >> even though there were mistakes made, don't you think there was enough evidence that we will know a lot more about how this crime unfolded when this case goes to trial? >> no question. the botched crime scene is
certainly not good for the prosecution, but it's not fatal to the prosecution's case. when you look at all the evidence, which we haven't heard about yet, there's a lot we don't know. just from what we do know already, the ballistic evidence, the spatter of evidence on a number of items in the bathroom, this is going to be very telling. >> as a defense attorney, what really stood out to you. are there any weaknesses in the defense's case? >> there's always going to be weaknesses in the defense case. when you shot somebody four times. >> without see figure she was out of bed or not. >> i understand that. those are problems. but this is a defense lawyer's dream in the way the prosecution has brought this up. it is not often you get, it is revealed that lead detective is
facing seven attempted murder counts. you say, thank you lord, that is unbelievable. then you found he hasn't even looked at the item he's floated out there, trying to create this 'roid rage. he didn't even read the whole word and he didn't test it, we don't have the test results thing. those become irreparable for the prosecution for them to get over. but we don't have a jury. >> stick around, we want to talk about what's next in this case in this dramatic week. plus oscar pistorius is recognized around the world and revered by his fans. how he became a hero to so many and what you may not know about his past. later, all the plans reeva steenkamp had for her future died with her. for her family, it is an incomprehensible loss.
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"blade runner, murder or mistake?" oscar pistorius, the blade runner, out on bail due back in court june 4th. i want to talk more about what a trial might look like and why it may never take place. back with the panel. kelly, the case now goes to a judge. there's no jury system there. it has a lot to do with the the makeup of society. help us understand how judges are schooled to deal with cases without the aid of a jury. >> in south africa, we believe that judges spend their entire working lives being immersed in the law and trained in the law and schooled towards being objective in applying their minds to the law in a neutral way. and that is the safeguard for justice. we also every aspect of our legal system is enviewed with our constitution and our constitutional law. and the constitution itself really was a very collaborative
process that is an expression of the people of south africa. in that prospect, the lay people have a voice in the law and an influence in the law, but not in terms of deciding individual cases. >> mark, as you and i talked about, the magistrate commended pistorius for offering this it very, very complete and thorough affidavit. his version of the events for the record. he even said it helped him in making his decision to grant him bail. couldn't that come back to haunt him? >> absolutely. they made the calculated decision. they said this case is infinitely better if he's out and not in for a multitude of reasons. for the lawyer's standpoint, i can't tell you how important it is to have the client out in terms of preparing a case. number one. and number two, i think they felt strongly that they had been out to that scene, even though they haven't, i assume, gone through all of the expert
forensic analysis they are going to do, they took a look at the door and have an idea what the ballistics are going to come back to. as to whether or not he was wearing the legs or anything of that nature. i think they understand whether or not somebody could have heard screaming or not. so there's a certain amount of that that's probably not going to come back to bite him. there are other things that are problematic if it comes back. the toxicology for instance. >> it's true that there are problems with the prosecution's case. there are problems with the defense case, that's for sure. today it looks like it cries out for a plea bargain. south africa, as i understand it, has an active plea bargaining culture, as do we in the united states. there is culpable homicide out there as a possible compromise from premeditated murder. and given the fact that everybody agrees that pistorius fired the shots that caused the
fatal injuries, it just seems to me that now that he's going to be out on bail, the preparations could last a long time, i would not be at all surprised to see this case end in a plea. >> so no trial? >> today or the day before when he made the argument, the defense lawyer, he argued that this is a culpable homicide. so that's almost a telegraphing of, look, this might be something that's acceptable. this may be somewhere this case could end up. >> as a forensics expert, really in his affidavit in his version, it serves as a road map for someone like yourself. >> it was a terrible mistake to write a detailed affidavit. the burden is on the prosecution, not on the defense. he had to say something, but you don't give such great detail because every single part of that affidavit can be verified or not verified by the evidence. the evidence doesn't lie.
it's a matter of interpreting it. but clearly if he says he was in one position and the evidence says something different, there goes his credibility. >> i thought exactly the same thing when i read the affidavit. but mark has a point here. that affidavit turned out to be very important in getting him bail. >> that's not the case. >> there's leverage in the case. >> i'm right because i agree with you. >> what do you think is going to be the most important piece of forensic evidence? >> i would think that the ballistics evidence would be crucial here. >> the angle? >> the difference in the story has to do with whether he was wearing his prosthetic legs or not. that would change his height, the position of the gun. there's a lot we can tell with forensics. we can talk about the distance between the muzzle and the door. we can look at the victim. so we have a lot of information
about bullet trajectories. so if his story is inconsistent or the angles and the height, if it doesn't connect with what he said, he is in deep, deep trouble. >> in the affidavit he said his put the prosthetics on after the shooting. >> the judge raised a very interesting issue that i think is part of the prosecution theory is that she brought her phones into the bathroom because she was scared. she wanted to call for help. but the judge said there was no evidence of whether she did in fact call for help. >> they never checked the cell phones. >> someone will. and that will be significant. >> what's interesting is one of the phones has blood spatter, the other doesn't. that pattern is very crucial. is it it blowback from the gun? is that what we're talking about? did somebody touch it with a transfer of blood? it's crucial to know what kind of pattern. >> so two key statements from the defense, mark.
one is that oscar pistorius says that his girlfriend had slipped into the bathroom while he was closing the balcony door. that's why he didn't know she wasn't in the bed. also she had locked the bathroom door only because she heard him yelling there was an intruder in the home. how much weight do those arguments have? >> i don't know that those are going to be the kind of thing that this case turns on. i think whether he was wearing the prosthesis, because all of this feeling vulnerable, shooting and going off half cocked is more plausible if he does not have on his legs. >> we'll continue to watch it no doubt. see if it goes to trial or not. jeffrey toobin, mark, kelly, thank you all very much. we have seen oscar pistorius in a new light. a murder suspect in a tragic
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a double amputee who changed the way the world sees disabilities. before he reached the olympics, he made his name at the paralympics. where blake leaderboarder met him a few years back. here's what he told me about the blade runner when whe talked earlier. >> i'm compete along side him. he was an inspiration to me. he went out of his way to help me out and give me insight. i was new to running and he's a veteran to the track and field world. he gave me a lot of information. >> other friends of pistorius and steenkamp have been speaking out this week as well. kevin last saw the couple last month. >> oscar was very loving, happy, by no means was he ever misbehaving. he was a good guy. never was he reckless or
aggressive towards anyone. when i saw them together, they were in love. oscar was a very loving person. by no means did i think their relationship was in jeopardy. >> tonight those closest to pistorius just like those of us who have never met him are trying to wrap their heads around what's happened here. it's an extraordinary turn in a story that has never been routine. ♪ >> oscar pistorius was never like everybody else. >> i was missing the backbone in your leg. >> he was born that way and had both legs amputated at the knee before his first birthday. >> i grew up in a family where disability was never an issue. we didn't really speak about my disability. not because it was a topic that
was taboo or we thought -- that's the mentality i have had. >> a mentality that drove him to succeed to walk by 17 months, to overcome the pain of his parent's divorce and later the grief of losing his mother. to race and compete. >> sports have been a big part of my life. we grew up in south africa where most kids enjoy the outdoors. i was never an academic so i had to find something where i enjoyed. i started sports. from a young age, my mother said to us, sports are not about being the best, but it's about giving your best. >> when he smashed his knee playing rug by oscar took up track to help him heal, a decision that would change his life. within the year, he would be his
first gold at the paralympic games using cheetah blades, nicknaming him "the blade runner." >> you can see the sense of gravity. it's pretty difficult to balance on. with you're wearing them, if you're standing still, you have to put your foot down the whole time. >> he was becoming a living legend, a hero in a battered nation, a media darling. his story captured worldwide attention. his prosthetics were inspiring to many. but controversial to others. >> i have been a big advocate for fair play. when it comes to the legs i use, they have been made since 1996 and they have made 50,000 pairs. just from a practical point of view, there have never been athletes that run close to the the times i'm running on the 400. >> they were deemed an advantage to him, but it didn't stop him from competing.
>> since i started running in 2004, most of my races have been races against able-body athletes. we just have a lot more races every season. 2007, i started running internationally. i started running the circuit. i missed the olympics in '08 by a quarter of a second. i said if i get this opportunity again, i definitely don't want to miss it. >> that opportunity came at the 2012 london olympics. pistorius caused a sensation when his appearance at the games. to some, a symbol of triumph over adversity. and his star kept rising. pistorius picked up prime sponsorships from major brands like nike. >> i have that addiction to perfection when i'm off the track as well. >> who featured him in this 2011 ad with the slogan "i am the bullet in the chamber."
>> this is my weapon. this is how i fight. >> now nike is suspending their relationship with him. pistorius' fame and success made him a role model for all people. >> east done well and everybody is proud of him. >> being an international sportsman, there's a lot of responsibility that comes with it. remembering that there are kids out there that look up to you is definitely something you need to keep in the back of your mind. >> pistorius had his fans, but also had his critics. he was known for having a quick temper, but friends and family say that didn't mean he would ever hurt anyone, especially not his girlfriend reeva steenkamp. >> when i saw them, they were really in love. oscar was a loving person as well as reeva. by no means did i think their relationship was in jeopardy. they were very loving. it's very sad because it was a big shock to us to hear what happened. >> pistorius used to say his
life was a blessing. he was able to overcome his disability and prove himself on the field over and over again until there was no doubt about his abilities. whether he can prove himself again is the question. >> coming up, friends and family try to cope with the loss of reeva steenkamp. we'll take a closer look at who reeva was and hear from her family members when our special hour continues.
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it is a riveting drama that's playing out in a courtroom in south africa where oscar pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend. but for the family and friends of reeva steenkamp, the story is one of terrible loss and pain. by all accounts, reeva steenkamp was a remarkable young woman, beautiful, yes, but also smart, ambitious and funny. these are pictures from a photo shoot that reeva did a week before her death. she said she and oscar were trying to keep their relationship out of the spotlight.
she adores, respected and admired him. she said of him, quote, we haven't been talking to the media because i don't want it to get tainted. i don't want anything coming in the way of his career. he's such an amazing athlete. we've been hearing from reeva's family members as they grapple with the loss and look for the truth about what happened to her. here's what reeva's brother and cousin had to say. >> for me, it's very, very hard to think about reeva dying in a violent way. and i don't want to go to the place where i have to imagine her being frightened and scared and running for her life. and that, for me, is very, very difficult. i have lots of questions, lots and lots of questions. but i believe that when the trial starts, the truth's going to come out and we're going to get to the bottom of this.
>> at a time like this when people are grieving, i think it's hard to keep a clear mind on anything. and with the added pressure and the media coverage and the interest, you know from the world looking into this story, it's rather unnatural situation. so i suppose i would agree with everyone that's flipping from one side to the other. we just don't know. all we want is we want to know what the truth is. and i think that's what everyone else would like as well, to be able to make something of this. to be able to deal with this and have something positive come out of this. >> now for a closer look at who reeva steenkamp was, here's gary tuchman. >> beautiful, smart, reeva steenkamp had a big future ahead of her. she had worked as a paralegal but was gaining international fame as a world class model.
she had come a long way from the sleepy seaside town where she grew up to the bright lights and big city of johannesburg, south africa. where she was shot to death by oscar pistorius. to those who loved her, it's all inconceivable. >> reeva's not supposed to be dead. reeva had her whole life ahead of her. she was going to be doing great things. >> but for reeva steenkamp, great things were already happening. in 2011 and 2012, she was ranked by south africa's version of fhm magazine as one of the 100 sexiest women in the world. hagan engler was the editor. >> she was a bikini model. but she had a wicked sense of humor. she got it. she understood the industry she was in and really intelligent. always fun to work with.
>> when she started dating pistorius, a south african power couple was born. >> let's see what's behind door number one. >> and in 2013 -- >> go! >> reeva was making her reality television debut on a program called "tropica island." treasure 5. >> my name is reeva. we're in jamaica this year. you can be jealous. >> the first episode of the show still aired this week in reeva'shonor, her producers say just days before her funeral. a private ceremony attended by more than 100 friends and relatives, including her father, barry, her mother, june, and her uncle, mike. >> this is a family. that's all we want is reeva. there's a space missing. >> adam steenkamp is reeva's brother.
>> we're going to keep all the positive things that we remember and know about my sister and we will try and continue with the things that she tried to make better. we'll miss her. >> the family is grief-stricken and bewildered. reeva's mother, june, telling the local paper, all we want are answers, answers as to why this had to happen, why our beautiful daughter had to die like this. as it turned out, reeva was voted off the reality show. but if she was sad, it didn't show. instead, she left with warm, lovely thoughts for all those she'd met on the island. >> you literally fall in love with jamaica. you fall in love with being in love with love. this is one love everywhere. i'm going home with sort of a sweet taste in my mouth. i don't have any regrets.
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